tv America Live FOX News May 4, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
okay. "america live" starts right now. martha: a big unanswered question on the death of usama bin laden. what is happening with this young wife that we keep hearing about who nearly gave her life defending the terror leader. understanding right now she is in pakistani custody, so why did we not want to speak to her or bring her into custody during the raid, and what could he be learning from her about current or future plots against the united states. those questions and a lot more about that is how we welcome you today to "america live." i'm martha maccallum in more megyn kelly. the wife is said to have lunged at the navy seals, she took a bullet in the leg. they are telling fox that
arresting her was simply not part of the mission. the u.s. embassy in pakistan is denying the reports that we even want to talk with her. greg jarrett has been tkreugingg into this for us. it raises a lot of questions. >> reporter: she is being treated right now in a military hospital. and she actually could harbor very important intelligence information about al-qaida's operations and their contacts. there are conflict the reports as to whether the u.s. has actually asked and pakistan has denied access to her. but, you know, it would make sense that we would want to know what she knows. the united states does have a bilateral extradition treaty with pakistan but it contains a really important caveat, the request can be refused by pakistan. of course other pressure could be brought to bear on the back
stanee government since the u.s. provides billions of dollars in military support every year. for now pakistan is saying that she and all the other family members live at that compound with usama bin laden will be quote handed over to their countries of origins. what does that mean? that means yemen. we don't have an extradition treaty with yemen. we have leverage there, last year we gave yemen $300 million to fight it's al-qaida branch there that is now vowing to retaliate for usama bin laden. we could deny support to yemen, but there is violent unrest in yemen and what may be the imminent departure of president saleh. aside from human intelligence that may have been missed here, navy seals managed to carry off five computers, ten hard drives
and more than a hundred storage devices, things like dvd's and removareremovable flash drives. it could lead to operatives and disrupt the locations and movements of the terror network. the bottom line is everything is in play and there is a lot of human intelligence to be gleaned from all those other people who were inc inside that come moundh usama bin laden. martha: she was reportedly given to him as a gift when she was a teenager. she is the mother, we believe of the children that were there. gregg, thank you very much. usama bin laden is reported to have had four wives. the maximum allowed under islam. one of them was syrian, two were from saudi arabia and one was the picture and image we just showed you from yemen. some sources say he has had 23 children, although none of them
are reportedly in line to take over his job as member of al-qaida's leadership. something floating around out there about wills that he left and so forth. it is a tangled web. we are seeing reports today that the death of usama bin laden are prompting authorities to ramp up security here at home in major ways. in new york people are swabbing bags and using special chemical and biological detectors. at the subway entrances in d.c. security is visibly tight around the vice president's home and all u.s. military bases around the globe are on a heightened state of alert right now. some civilian employees at sensitive facilities are being told to stay home in some cases. there is this from attorney general eric holder. >> what are we looking at in the short term if there are going to be retal tore yee attacks or attempts from laud law's death. i had a conference call with all
of the attorneys going through with them steps we wanted them to make making sure that they as well as all the federal investigative agencies were on their toes and being mindful of the fact that this is a difficult time for this nation after the death of bin laden. martha: trace gallagher is looking into all of this from our west coast newsroom. what are you finding out. >> reporter: we keep hearing there are no credible threats and yet you talk to counterterrorism experts the heads of federal agencies have been very blunt about this saying that retaliation for lad's death is quote, inevitable. they are not just talking about planes and trains, they are talking more and more about soft targets, like shopping malls, as well as sporting events and hotels. that's where a lot of the focus is now being moved. the u.s. homeland security department is now on a heightened state of vigilance. state department has issued a worldwide travel warning for pherpbgs, if you do not have to
travel abroad they are saying don't. a lot of the security as you see the pictures there is very obvious. you'll notice walking to grand central station there will be more cops. go to the airport heightened security, moran come bag checks. metal detectors are being added to sports arenas and spayed yums around the country and as new york city commissioner rey kelly says we need to constantly look over our shoulder, listen. >> i think we need sort ever a 360-degree defense here. we can't say we are concerned about one thing more than another. of course the homegrown terrorism we've seen increasingly you might say and, you know, we monitor it in a variety of ways. >> reporter: more importantly might be, martha what we do not see. the tpa*eub says it's othe f.b.t 9/11 war footing. taking all the evidence from the osama bin laden compound and
processing it as fast as they possibly can, following up the leads, using it to monitor terror suspects and in some cases even go out and arrest potential terror suspects on nonterror related charges just to get them off the streets for the time being. the fear here of course is a lone wolf attack. they are also working to add names to the no-fly list, because the head of the transportation security administration says we need to be resilient. listen here. >> unfortunately i believe that it is not a question of if but when there will be an attack here in the homeland. how do we prepare for that attack and respond to it? >> reporter: very scary words, not a question of if, it's a question of when. a lot of these security measures in place right now will last maybe a week or two weeks, many of them will become permanent, martha. martha: that's the problem. there's an initial surge and then over time it becomes more
complacent. trace gallagher thank you very much. we'll be back with trace in a little while from now. from overseas we are also getting new video of demonstrations that have been popping up across pakistan. this of course is to be expected really, crowds protesting the killing of usama bin laden in some cities hundreds of people gathering praising al-qaida's leader as a hero and condemning the united states and president obama in the city of molton. they erupted into antiamerican protests. they were chanting slogans and burning american flags. there is new information about the city where usama bin laden was hiding out, a fairly upscale community about 40 miles outside of the capitol. home to an elite military academy. his heavily fortified compound stuck out neighbors say. greg palkot went there to see exactly what this looks like on the landscape. greg is screaming live from islamabad, pakistan. i'm anxious to hear what it
looks like to you. >> reporter: yeah that's we've been reporting the pakistani officials are taking heat on a lot of different fronts. this is yet another front. it's in abbottabad, a two and a half mile drive north of where we are right now. we went there today, that is where the compound of usama bin laden was, that's where he was targeted in that kill or capture mission, and the -- yet another question facing pakistani officials is how he could hide in plain sight in that city for as long as he did. we went up there to find out exactly what that city was all about. take a look at what you saw. if you have to hideout somewhere as a world class terrorist abbottabad is not a bad place to be, it is scenic, safe, secure and now it is the hub of the pakistani military. the pakistan military academy is here. two regiments are based here. the medical core. 120 active and reserve officers
come through here every day. in the past few years under the nose of usama bin laden. the compound itself today, martha was sealed off to the public. our sources say that top pakistani military and intelligence officials were combing over the site, really the first time they have done this since the mission by the u.s. navy seals. again, they are going to want to find out exactly what went down there, they want to find out how they can follow-up to ease some of the pressure being placed upon them by washington. we also, martha, worked around the neighborhood surrounding that house, and talked to the folks there. neighbors there are still kind of reeling from what happened, and none of them really believed before that usama bin laden could be living there. now they are beginning to get a handle on it. one person said that whoever was in there was quite security conscious, he even let the milk man, he said keep the bottles outside of the door not to come
inside. that's how concerned they were. back to you. martha: how bizarre, all of those neighbors must be rethinking all the movements they saw coming in and out of there, it's extraordinary. great insights into the town where all of this is happening. new inch saoeubts coming in about three minutes about usama bin laden's wife, she is the source of fascination in this story. questions being raised about why she wasn't brought into u.s. custody to be questioned about what she knew. did she see pakistani officials? who knew that they were there? questions along those lines. what happens if pakistan let's her go free and sends her back to yemen. monica crowley will join us on this developing story moments from now. it's sure to be a very emotional day, president obama will visit for the first time since his campaign ground zero. what is going to happen with the families of the 9/11 victims, many of whom have been upset with the president over a number of issues, how will they respond now to what has happened with
usama bin laden. a fireman who hrurbd to ground sister owe on that faithful day joins us live. he has some unbelievable reaction from 9/11 families to this visit when we come back. [ female announcer ] it's new, and it's the most delicious thing that's ever happened to cinnamon. introducing cinnamon burst cheerios. 20% daily value of fiber bursting with the delicious taste of cinnamon. new cinnamon burst cheerios. prepare your taste buds. constated? phillips' caplet use gnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally wityour colon than stimulant xatives, for fective reli of constipation without cramps. thanks. [ professor ] good morning students. today, we're gonna...
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martha: we are a waiting the start of a highly charged news conference at the white house. press secretary jay carney scheduled to get back in front of the podium in a few minutes. these 0 have been exhaustive. we expect we will get new details on the raid and possibly some more information on when those pictures may be released of usama bin laden after his death. it is looking more and more likely although we are hearing about controversy in the white house over that decision. that picture we just showed you is the wife. one of the wives of usama bin laden and supposedly the only one who was sort of left and still living with him.
she's also the person who was believed to be shot in the leg after she rushed a navy seal in some kind of effort to protect him or fend him off. hopefully we'll hear more about the reports that there is some kind of tug of war going on between pakistan and the united states over this young woman, and whether they will get a chance, the u.s. officials, ever, to ask her questions. clearly she was living there for years and she knows a lot about who came and went from there. monica crowley joins me now, radio talk show host and fox news contributor. monica welcome. one of the reasons, beyond the obvious, the incredible success of this mission, to kill, finally usama bin laden, the intrigue of what went down in that house and on this mission has captured the imagination of everybody i think in this nation. now the question of this woman and why the decision was made not to take her into custody when clearly she saw and heard a lot of what went on there. >> reporter: and probably was the closes to usama bin laden, at least in that compound.
she's one of five wives but she was with him apparently most of the time. so she it seems to me would be an absolute treasure trove of intelligence and information not just about usama bin laden but also about who was coming and going, as you say, martha did pakistani officials come and go? were help forking information to usama bin laden? it seems to me to leave her on the scene probably was a mistake. the military says one of our helicopters went down, we were only left with three. we didn't have room. i find that a little hard to believe. she looks about a hundred pounds, maybe even less than that. martha: i find that very implausible. if they really wanted to get her on that helicopter, we've all thrown extra kids in the back of a car on occasion. they say that was really not the mission, that the kill mission was what they were there for and god bless them they pulled it off perfectly, is criticizing that. >> reporter: we were able to get a huge amount of data and intel from raiding this compound.
not only did they take outlawed laud in a most extraordinary and spectacular way, they got thumb drives, absolute total computers all in good condition so that we are able to mine that data. one of the problems with killing usama bin laden, and i absolutely agree with the decision to do that, but one of the problems you have with taking him out is that you can no longer interrogate him, you can't mine him for information, you can't take him to a black shiite or guantanamo bay and interrogate him the way we did with khaled sheik mohammed and two others. it seems to me she would be right at the top of the list of people to mine for information. martha: we are getting more -- it's almost as if they are preparing us. when you go into the doctor and they say here is what we're going to do. we know that the bullet entered above one eye in the forehead area, that that is basically that part of his head is no longer there. they are literally preparing everyone for these gruesome
photos which makes me believe they are good to show them. you made a very strong argument historically for the reasons we should have those shown. >> reporter: public displays of especially leaders who have been particularly brutal, this goes back centuries to the time where people would who is terrorist leaders, brutal dictators, their heads on pikes and walk them through the public square. musmousalina was shot and he was hung upside down. hitler was torched, his ashes were cream eighted and dispersed. you had decades of conspiracy theories thinking he wasn't actually dead. one of the things that human beings need, mart that, especially survivors of a brutal terrorist regime, dictator, you name it they need to see proof that the brutal tormentor has in
fact gone nor good. the other part of this case is, look if you're going to choose to fight a war then fight the war and you can't be engaged in all of this political correctness about muslim sensitivities or are we going to inflame the muslim world. the muslim world that part of it that is at war with the united states is already inflamed. when they say the pictures weren't pretty, you know what wasn't pretty, martha, our people jumping from the 103rd story. i think you show the picture. jon: th.martha: contractors beig up over bridges. this is clearly a military target that will be presented in order to show proof not in a way to further humiliate this victim but to show proof. >> reporter: you're dealing with an absolute barbaric enemy that has no problem of showing
beheadings of westerners to us. martha: we'll see what happens here. monica crowley joining me today. even as the world cheers the death of this al-qaida leader a former top official with the bush administration says that killing usama bin laden was a critical mistake. just ahead we're going to hear the reasons why usama bin laden may have been worth much more alive. and will the killing of usama bin laden help the president get reelected? will it improve his poll numbers? the new reasons why you may not want to place your bets on the outcome of 2012 just yet. we'll show you the numbers. >> tonight i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that called usama bin laden, the leader of al-qaida, and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
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martha: fox news alert we are awaiting a white house briefing, it's scheduled to get underway shortly. we are getting word that president obama has decided not to release the photos of usama bin laden's body. all right. so this is just crossing the wires. this is breaking news and this has -- obviously this is going to be extremely controversial. this will be the subject -- it's interesting it was supposed to get underway shortly, the press conference. then we heard it was pushed to 2:00. that often tells us that there is something going on. now indeed we know what it is. much to discuss in terms of that announcement from the president that those photos will not be released. we are going to learn more about that when the briefing begins. in the meantime another piece of business that we want to talk about here is the gop debate that is coming up in south
carolina as republicans sort of try to get their arms around pointing towards one candidate to run for president in 2012, all of that has become a little bit more complicated with the backdrop of what has happened and unfolded in pakistan in recent days as well. chris stirewalt to react to all of this. fox news digital politics editor. chris welcome, good to have you here. first of all moments ago president obama says those photos will not be released. what do you think about that? >> reporter: well, look, politically this is very challenging, because there is a large portion of the american public that wants closure on this issue, and they want to see that -- as president bush described it justice, he hasn't been brought to justice but justice has been brought to him. that sentiment is real and growing. if there isn't a photo and isn't a way to say to the american people, this is what happened, the questions will mount, people will continue to want to know exactly how.
i mean you see how desperate folks are for any detail on this killing, and how it happened. i would think the picture -- not having the picture will just cause that to grow. martha: it also causes more and more -- we've already all seen the pictures out on the internet, they are fake, we are looking at them. so undoubtedly, i find it impossible to believe that eventually these pictures will not come out. it's also continue tkeubting leon pan etta yesterday said he believed eventually the pictures would be released. obviously there is a lot of controversy over this behind the walls of the white house. >> reporter: and we also have heard reports that secretary of state hillary clinton, secretary of defense robert gates that they were arguing against releasing the photos. if president obama is saying this he's not going to do it he's going to come down on their side not with what we heard from leon panetta. then there is again to come back to this political concern. for president obama to experience the kind of support and rallying around him that the
country is in a mood to do right now, the poll numbers show people say hey let's rally around the president, he did this great thing for the country, closure is so important. that's why he's going to ground zero tomorrow. it's all part of tying this off and saying this brings closure to this important moment. martha: he likely also feels empowered by the leadership that he's taken in this issue. if he feels that this is not what he's going to do and that he has reasons for not doing it, you know, that's clearly his stance on this. obviously we're going to chew over this quite a bit in the coming two hours. i want to get to the reason we originally wanted to speak to you which is also of extreme importance as we begin the 2012 process, the debate we'll watch unfold in south carolina. what can you tell us about that, chris? >> reporter: think about this. the republican party was headed toward a debate about fiscal conservatism and who could be the tea party, tea partier and how hard a line they could draw. with what happened on sunday the
conversation shifts to how do they change the war on terror but this decade-long war with a hundred thousand troops we have in afghanistan. these are questions that are put to a republican field that quite frankly right now is tilted more towards social issues and domestic fiscal issues. they are going to be put and we are going to put them at the test tomorrow in greenville, south carolina. martha: we are all looking forward to that, thank you very much. chris will be in south carolina tomorrow when the republicans debate. you can see all of that on fox news, your election headquarters of course. watch the republican debate live right here starting at 9:00pm eastern tomorrow night. lots more coming up on that tomorrow as well. reports are breaking as we speak that the president has decided not to release the photos of usama bin laden that were taken after his death. this is fascinating because we also heard the release of these graphic details just a little while before that. we know that leon panetta said he wanted them to be released. there is a controversy over this going on at the white house to
be clear. fox is trying to confirm all of this and nail it down as these reports come out. we'll bring you that as soon as that gets underway. the white house's press conference come up shortly as well. we'll flesh all of those questions out to be sure. also president bush's visit to ground zero, this is going to be a huge moment tomorrow. that of course is a moment that we all remember and it was a defining moment for president bush, he's gallop numbers soared 86% then went up to 90% approval the highest numbers ever scored by gallop. what will be the impact when president obama heads to ground zero tomorrow? >> i can hear you. the rest of the world hears you, and the people -- [cheering] >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement
martha: breaking news here on "america live." we go now to the white house where we are seeing reports on the news wires right now that the president has decided not to release any of these post death pictures of usama bin laden. white house correspondent mike emanuel joins us live. what do we expect to hear in this briefing. >> reporter: my understanding is president obama said it himself that he's not going to release a bin laden photo telling 60 minutes steve croft who he taped
an interview today that he would not go forward witness. i can tell you from talking to senior officials here they've been worried about a backlash. we have hundreds of thousands of troops all over the world. we have american diplomats serving in difficult places. so far after the usama bin laden killing we have not seen a huge backlash. there is great concern whether you aggravate the situation and make the situation explosive that is currently not explosive. we live in a world where photo leaks out this is a wikileaks era whether you like it or not. some argue they will eventually get out, why not release them now. i was told jay carney is not talking to people before the briefing. he is making final preparations before the briefing. there will be questions pro and con about the release. we expect to get some about president obama's trip tomorrow to ground zero in new york city. the president will lay a wreath
there, meet with first responders and meet with 9/11 families after the huge news taking outlawed laud sunday night. martha. martha: you know, mike a couple of thins. we've heard some things coming out about the controversy within the administration over this photo issue, and that hillary rodham clinton and bob gates were both on the side of not releasing these photos. leon panetta seems to have been for it. he even suggested what you're saying, they will come out eventually and we don't doubt that that will happen. any insights into the process that led to this decision? >> reporter: well, we've been told that the president looks at his team and says, layout your case, make your case to me and that in the end he makes a decision. but we heard serious reservations here yesterday throughout the day behind the scenes talking to folks, saying that there are sensitivities there, and we've heard graphic descriptions of at least one of the photos, and so the question is do people take that photo and make propaganda out of it, use
it at a recruiting tool to go after the united states and go after the western world? and so in the end president obama decided against releasing any of the photos, martha. martha: very interesting. there is going to be a lot of discussion about that to be sure. mike thank you very much. this promises, folks, to be a very highly charged press briefing, especially given this news that they will not release the photos. there is a precedent for releasing these kind of photos as we well know in the case of the children of saddam hussein. there were pictures that came out, they were not officially released of the hajjing of saddam hussein. a lot of legit gnat questions will come up about this moments from now. we have with us former white house political director matt schlapp. great to have you here in light of this decision that has just been made. you well know what it's like to go through this process. this is a biggie, it's going to get a lot of attention. >> yeah, absolutely. i mean i'm a little bit
surprised at the decision. i think if the secretary of defense who overseas an intelligence agency at dod is always reticent to give out photos or information, they also want to hold things closer to the chest. this is a big moment for the american people, it's a big moment for the country. and i think to not release the photos will just play into those who are paranoid and conspiracy theorists. i think the obama administration will release the photos or leak them in some way. martha: there are two trains of thought here. one i imagine we'll hear the president speak more specifically about is the protection of u.s. troops. that this will somehow incite people to do violent acts against us if they see these photos. there is a strong argument to be made that these people are going to do whatever they can regardless, and that they have had total disregard for people's bodies, you know, 9/11, before
that, and after it. >> i think president obama and his administration are going kicking and screaming into the war on terror. they came in wanting to close gitmo now they are keeping it open. they are against enhanced interrogations but now seemingly some of the evidence that led to usama bin laden came from those interrogations. i think the world realizes we are in a war on terror and we are trying to do everything we can to defeat these evil terrorist forces and to kill these people who do us harm. and the idea that a photo somehow is what would incite people seems really silly. what incites people on the other side who don't believe in the american values that we stand for is the fact that we landed into this man's compound with navy seals and killed him. that is what is important here, and that's what the world needs to understand. if you take america on like you did this country on september 11th you will have a bloody end. martha: matt, let's go back or forward i should say to this event tomorrow 0, which is going
to get quite a bit of attention. the president is going to visit ground zero. this is the first time he's been here. a lot of these families have said why has he not ban there on previous and the verse reese of 9/11. it should be pointed out he went to the passenger to be with those people who obviously have the same claim to this this owe motion tphal event as those in new york. he has not been there and these families have fought very hard to get face time with him and talk about things that are important to them. how is the white house making the decision about who he will speak with and who he won't speak with. >> these are some of the toughest questions when it comes to putting a presidential event together. i think it's a very tricky thing for him to go to ground zero not around 9/11, which is the traditional days in which presidents remember that dark day. the other thing with the 9/11 families is there is great diversity and opinion amongst these families. picking who you meet with is a very tricky process, and, you
know, i wouldn't necessarily have given the president the advice to go there around this -- around the death of usama bin laden. martha: why not? >> i think the death of usama bin laden is a big moment for the country, but i want to send the message and what i encourage the president to do is to send the message is that we are completely engaged in this war and he is just one man, although incredibly important person to eliminate in this war he's just one man and we still have to do everything it takes as a nation to -- martha: i'm sorry to interrupt he invited president bush to be there. he has declined. rudy guiliani it's not clear whether or not he will be there. it does appear that the white house made an effort to be very inclusive in this event. >> yeah i don't criticize them for not being bi-partisan. i think it was the right thing to do to reach out and invite these republicans. i think it was the right thing for president bush to decline. martha: why? >> i just don't think it's a moment for political grandstanding. and i also think president bush
has done a good job of allowing president obama, he is the elected president of all of us, he's our president, and he has a right to have great leeway on these areas. i think he's supportive of the effort and vice president cheney said he was supportive of the operation to kill usama bin laden. there is only one president. in these moments when these types of thins happen we all stand with him, then you come to a question of how a president highlights the issues. i'm not so sure going to ground zero is what i would have recommended. martha: i've spoken to some of the family members and they are waiting to find out. they are on a list, you know, they've requested to be there. they are not sure if they are going to get in. i'm fascinated by how they are going to choose who is in and who is out and you have to wonder, you know, if your name is on a list as someone who didn't want a mosque near ground zero would you have that opportunity. it's an open question. we'll see. a lot of big decisions being made in the oval office these
days, so good to have you. all right this briefing -- the white house briefing is moments away. we'll take you right there. a huge decision was just made. it has just been released that the president will not release the photos of usama bin laden's death. so that is a big headline at this hour. you're going to hear a lot of questions in the briefing room that you see to my right moments from now on that. also coming up, a former top bush administration official says that usama bin laden should have been taken alive. this man is a very instrumental figure in the enhanced interrogation process who says this. we are going to talk to him about why, i mean we'll hear about why he believes that three minutes away. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle --
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approve the release of the usama bin laden photos that were taken after his death. it's a huge decision, highly controversial. you're going to get a lot of questions to jay carney about this moments from now. we'll take you there as soon as that gets underway. in the meantime earlier today attorney general eric holder was on capitol hill defending the u.s. decision to kill usama bin laden rather than to capture him. >> the operation in which usama bin laden was killed was lawful. he was the head of al-qaida an organization that had conducted the attacks of september the 11th. he admitted his involvement, as you indicate he said he would not be taken alive. the operation against usama bin laden was justified as an abt of national self-defense. he was by my estimation, and the estimation of the justice department a lawful military target and the operation was conducted in way that is consistent with our law, with our values. if he had surrendered i think --
i think we should obviously have accepted that. there was no indication that he wanted to do that, and therefore his killing was appropriate. martha: all right. there are so many interesting things within that piece of sound from eric holder that we want to sort of get to. i'm joined now by david rick man a constitutional law attorney and former white house kho*upb under reagan and george h. bush. good to have you today. we are going to talk about whether or not it was right to kill usama bin laden. i want to go back to the sound byte that we heard for a moment. it's interesting to me that eric holder's argument seems to be based on the fact that usama bin laden was -- that we are at war with him, and that because we are at war with him it was like -- there is not part of this where he says he was a lawful military target. ub target a commander in the field.
conversely there have been many times when this administration has taken the point of few when it comes to enemy combatants that this is not and ongoing war that they should be tried in the civilian courts and the like. many i right. >> you're right. let's say they came out the right way in the end. you are absolutely right. for a longtime the administration has continued to denigrate the viability of the laws of war architecture which is the framework for governing detention operations, interrogations and use of force. for example say they apply only in a battle field like afghanistan but would not apply in another country like pakistan. so i give them credit for let's say growing in office. martha: talk to me a little bit about this argument by john yu. he wrote an editorial today, he was the lawyer who was really the architect of kind of the language and framework that
allowed for these extended, you know, ways of interrogation that some regarded as torture. john yu says it was a huge mistake not to take him alive because he is such a valuable resource for intelligence, obviously. >> that is true. it's an excellent op ed in today's "wall street journal." let me say this. i agree with general holder, it was actually legal to use deadly force. we could have done it from a distance, used a missile, a sniper. the fact that he was killed was perfectly legal. on the other hand john yoo's argument was very compel, it would have basketball better we can all agree to take him into custody and interrogate him for protracted periods of time. it's not a one shot deal. you want to come back again and again, which is by the way, the irony here, this is how he was discovered. he was discovered -- martha: we are on a hard break, we'll hold you over through the break, we'll be back with more
martha: busy afternoon, we are back with david rivkin the constitutional law attorney and former white house counsel under presidents reagan and george h. bush. i want to get your response to the decision by the president not to release these photos. is it within his rights as president to do that and can anybody contest it? >> it certainly is within his rights to do it. i don't think it can be judicially challenged. i think it's the wrong decision. for one thing it's clearly going to leak. there are a number of photos from what i understand a a number of people have in their poe testing session that will leak. might as well manage this process. i don't buy the argument that it will provoke rioting or enhance danger for our troops. it would help put an end to the motion that maybe this is all
staged or faked, just like some people don't believe in moon landings. i think it's the wrong decision. martha: david rivkin thank you very much for being with us today. big developments here and fox now confirming that indeed the president has decided that those photos will not be released. we are awaiting what could be a bombshell of a daly white house briefing today. there will be a lot of questions about this decision as we start a brand-new hour of "america live," i'm martha maccallum for megyn kelly. president obama has said he made the decision he will not release the photos of the dead usama bin laden. that is likely tow spark a firestorm of questions. this as we get new details now on the raid itself and the intelligence work that made this extraordinary event possible. jennifer griffin has been on this again all day, and is bringing us new details live now from the pentagon. this story just gets richer and more incredible with every passing detail jennifer. what do you know now? >> reporter: well it's
incredible. what we know is the location of usama bin laden's wife who is wounded in the leg. she is the 29-year-old yemeni. heshe was born in yemen. she was married to usama bin laden in 2000 and her passport expired in 2006. u.s. officials have not had access to her. she is in a hospital along with nine others from the compound. she is in a hospital called the combined military hospital under tight security. the pakistanis have control over access to her and the others. it's not clear from us, we've asked u.s. officials whether thief asked to interview usama bin laden's wife. if you talk about a mother load of intelligence, this woman saw everything that happened to usama bin laden from 2000 onwards and u.s. officials have not had access to her. she is in the hospital, not in serious condition we are told. she was shot in the leg. she was the woman who lunged at the seal when the seals entered
the room. we havee details about what was found on usama bin laden when he was killed. he was wearing a pakistani kind of pa jam a-like outfit and inside were swoepb 500euros, the equivalent of $750, and two telephone numbers were found shown into his clothing suggesting that he may have had plans if the noose was tightening and he felt he was in danger, he was sleeping in this outfit that had the 500euros and the two telephone numbers. we don't know where the telephone numbers go, though skrao that is a very interesting piece of information that i know our intelligence folks are going to want to get that you are hands on. whose phone numbers was usama bin laden sleeping season into his pajamas with. all that talk about his escape plan apparently he did not plan to die a martyr as so many people did in his name. >> reporter: that's right. we have heard from u.s.
officials, they are strongly denying reports coming out of pakistan that the ten or 12-year-old daughter of usama bin laden, the elder daughter of this wife, she has been reportedly in the pakistani press saying her father was killed in cold blood in front of his children. they say nobody, including the pakistanis have interviewed this ten or 12-year-old daughter, they are highly doubting that that version is true. they are pushing back pretty hard on that. one other point to mention that we reported yesterday, there were about ten people in the room with usama bin laden when he was killed -- when the seals entered. we aren't sure how many were in there when he was killed. some of the children in the room did run out of the room as the raid was taking place. martha: jennifer as always, thank you. great new information, and they'll be more as we continue to go through all of this. let's go to mike emanuel who is standing by live at the white house press briefing room as we wait for that to get underway.
he has the confirmation of this story reported moments ago. >> reporter: i spoke with a u.s. official outside the white house a new minutes ago who said that president obama has indeed decided against releasing post mortem photos of usama bin laden. we've reported extensively on the concerns about potential backlash. we've been told that the president has told 60 minutes in a taped interview, explained why he is not releasing the photos. but i can confirm independently outside the white house that indeed the president has made that call and we expect that to be a central focus of this briefing once jay carney enters this briefing room in a matter of minutes. the headline again, after a lot of discussion internally where we've heard that perhaps the cia director suggested that it might be better to release them on your own terms and other officials have argued against releasing the photos, in the end the president deciding that there may be a lot more risk than reward in releasing these photos of bin laden after he was
killed. martha: that's what we are all going to be listening for, mike, is the reasoning and whether or not it was to protect our troops and to protect, you know, anybody who may have been the subject of even greater wrath because the photos were shown. but that in itself is a contention that is going to be met with some stiff line of questioning. there has been no reluctance on the part of this enemy to hold back, you know, with regard to any sort of softening of thins that have been done along the way. >> reporter: no question about that. it's not going to lead to kinder treatment by terrorists of americans in harm's way, but the question remains, you know, would it lead to rioting that might prove to be deadly? might it lead to attacks on our embassies? might it lead to attacks on our troops by people who might right now be calm, and might be agitated into a state of frenzy by relieves these photos. the unknown aspect of what these photos might do to people who
could be unpredictable appears to have weighed on the president and his team and apparently the assessment is they feel like there was not much to be again by the few out there who think that osama bin laden might actually still be alive. martha: in your words we live in a wikileaks world. it is hard to imagine we will not see these photos one way or the other. we have a piece of sound we want to play from senator john mccain, his reaction to this news. >> that is a judgment that has to be made by the president and taking things, all things into consideration. my initial opinion is that it's not necessary to do so, i think there is ample proof that this was usama bin laden. but i will defer to the judgment of the president of the united states. martha: mike, you know, that is the question will anybody push back on this in terms of freedom of information requests, that kind of thing, that remains to be seen. >> reporter: we know a lot of
bi-partisan lawmakers say ultimately they defer to the president on this. senator mccain being one of them. one senator from new hampshire said foreclosure she thought the photos should be released, and in order to avoid conspiracy theories she thought the government should put the photos out there. most people have said on the hill today that they ultimately defer to the president on his judgment on this one. martha: thank you very much. mike emanuel standing by as we wait for the white house press briefing. we'll take you back there as soon as that gets underway. as we have mentioned president obama heads to ground zero tomorrow for the first time since he what's elected. when he is there on the agenda is -- are meetings with families of those who died on september 11th. just days after the deaths of usama bin laden, who ordered the attacks on america almost ten years ago. the commander-in-chief invited former president bush to attend as well. he has declined that invitation saying he has led a private life as a former president and will
continue to do so. jay carney says the invitation was very last minute and they completely understand if the former president is not able to attend. so in meantime some of the 9/11 families as we mentioned at ground zero tomorrow, you know, some of them will be very happy to see the president, some of them have over the years had a bone to pick with the commander in chief on a number of issues, upset about the controversy that surrounded the terror trials and also the prosecution of certain cia agents for techniques used during interrogation, those are some of the hottest issues the families have pursued. they have pursued many issues. at the forefront of doing that, one of those people is tim brown. he was on scene at ground zero on the fateful day in september of 2001 and has lost more than 300 firefighters on that day and has championed their cause. tim welcome. i am curious how the people are being chosen. i spoke with one family members last night who said she very much wants to go, but they are
all waiting to find out who is going to get to opportunity to actually speak to the president. how is this working? >> we've been trying to find that out. >> they would not release the list of those that were going to i know family members that are invited and some that aren't. i'm getting texts right now since this news came out about the photographs from family members that are extremely upset about the way this is going. they feel that those photos should be released. and they would like to be there tomorrow to express their feelings to the president, but they are not invited. they are upset they are not going to be parts of it tomorrow it's very insulting. i'm not sure i know the answer to it. >> i'm guessing that people like yourself will not be on that list. because you have been very outspoken about the way things
have been handle. it's unfortunate because you have been trying to get your voice heard. debra burlingame has wanted a face to face with the president. for years there have been -- the families have been ignored about it administration. >> from what i understand that's true. we have been fighting for two years against civilian trial in lower manhattan for ksm and company. they made it very difficult on us which was completely unnecessary. then we had to fight eric holder on military trial versus civilian trial. it appears we have won that one. but it has taken tremendous emotional energy for to us fight that fight. i believe the families have been completely disrecord by this administration. also with the ground zero mosque. a large number of families are completely against that. in fact it's probably one issue
the families are most agreeable on, that that should not be guilt there. yet the president of the united states disregarded us and pushedford and endorsed that. so for him to make this campaign stop tomorrow to pat himself on the back for what happened on sunday is completely disingenuous. he will use the families as a backdrop, and i hope that people see the transparency. martha: let's look at it from the other side. they will say this is a big moment for the country. it's one of those unique moments where we have seen people rallying and cheering the united states in the streets. have much like we saw after september 11. the president wants to go to ground zero in this moment in order to celebrate a big and proud moment for the united states. what say you? >> i think the big moment was sunday night when seal team 6 pulled the trigger. this is a pure campaign stop for him. in my fin, he should do
something privately with the families. he should say, you know, we got them, and we should go away. instead he's making a big spectacle of it. trying to boost his numbers. it's transparent to me. maybe i'm wrong, but ... martha: what is your understanding how they are choosing the families. when he does a town hall meeting people get invited. so i'm ver very curious about t. your name is on a list. and i'm guessing you are not going to be invited. to also be fair there are families who have been supportive of this president who wanted to see those trials happen in new york city. the families have been divide on these political issues as would be expected. >> i have not been included in anything since september 11. so it's difficult. my friend terry hatten who was
murdered that day. he has parents, wife, sibling, nephew. how do you decide? it's a problem the new york city fire department faisds, which was very -- faced, which was very difficult. so as for being on a list, i think everybody should have an opportunity to go tomorrow if they want to. martha: what is your understanding how it will work? lights be an open forum where we see the president interacting with families or lights be behind closed doors? >> i don't know, but i suspects it will be fairly scripted. i don't think they will have the opportunity to ask difficult questions tomorrow. martha: i'm wondering this about the president. i think we do see presidents evolve through their presidency. i'm curious and i don't think you can answer this question. what the impact was on him of watching that navy seal team in action. in terms of his appreciation and
understanding of what these folks do. and whether or not that extends at all to further understanding. i'm not saying he wasn't grateful for everything and all of the treasure lost on 9/11. i'm not suggesting that. but has it changed, based at all on this events? >> i think he has changed certainly. i don't know how any human being or any american can watch that proud moment and not be deeply moved by it. the people that should be with their families tomorrow are the navy seals. martha: they are not willing to take any credit 40s and they can't. >> and the cia folks. those are the american heros that should in a private setting with the families -- they should be thanked by the families. martha: wouldn't those families love an opportunity to embrace
those guys. and that's what -- i spoke to a former navy seal yesterday, and he said they never will. they don't want that kind of credit. that's enough for them that they know those people love them and want to embrace them for what they did. they asked president bush to come, they asked rudy giuliani to come tomorrow. your thoughts on that. >> i think president bush did the rights thing. i'm not sure what share giuliani has decided. for me personally i have no interest in it. i have -- i just went down to ground zero for the first time this morning quietly. i don't -- the job was done sunday night. i believe the navy seals when they say they got him. i don't need to see a photograph, i don't need proof. and i'm extremely proud of this country. so you know, i don't think mayor giuliani needs to know or president bush, and i think the
photo op that presidentr president obama is going for is not rights, i don't agree with. martha: you have been a living example. i'm so struck by your tenacity. 10 years later you have never let the memory of your friends die from that day. you deter of great credit for that and we thank you for everything you have done in that regard. good to have you here, tim. so again we are waiting for that white house briefing to get underway. there is a bit of a scramble. it's been postponed because this news was released that the photos will not be emerging anytime soon. that's at the decree of president obama. the death of bin laden producing a sharp boost for the president's poll numbers the past couple days. will that bounce feed into momentum for him in 2012 in you have the debate coming up. that's coming up next. >> i think closure is very
important for everyone. this is why there was so much celebration. i don't know if obama is credited with this or not. but being in the right place at the right time certainly helps him. mary! hey! wow, you look great! thanks! it's this new wish yourself thin program. i just wish it and itappens. it's probably those fiber one bars you're eating. i know they help me stick to my diet. the bars are 90 calories and the fiber helps you feel full. 90 calories and high fiber. so that's why this diet thing is working. but it's weird because my wish for lorenzo came true. [ male announcer ] fiber one 90 calorie bars. hungry no. results ye
martha: are you ready for this one? the leader of the fort sill apache tribe wants a formal apology from the obama for the code name geronimo. that trave -- the letter was pod wednesday morning on the tribe's web site. the tribe's administration confirmed it was from mr. howser. he writes his tribe was ecstatic to learn about bin laden's death, but that was tempered when they learned the code name for the terrorist was one of
their tribe's legendary warriors. we'll continue to find out if there is more on that. we are waiting for the white house briefing. it was scheduled to get started 15 minutes ago. there is a lot to hash over in the course of this briefing because the decision has just been released the president will not show us the photo of a post-death usama bin laden. if we wait to see how afghanistan is reacting to all the news coming out over the past couple days from pakistan, that's coming up plus the impact his death may have on the war there. conor powell is there with the afghanistan reaction to all of this, and it's quite something. connor, welcome. >> reporter: afghan officials have long accused pakistani officials of not only supporting and giving housing to people like usama bin laden, but also
taliban leaders like mullah omar who are suspected of being in pakistan. they have criticized the pakistanies for kreef ago it an environment where jihadists and terrorists can replicate the views of usama bin laden. there has been tension between afghan and pakistani leaders. the pakistanis have long denied it. talking to u.s. official on the ground, they think the killing of usama bin laden is significant but it doesn't change a lot here in the day to day war just yet. they expect the taliban to launch a wide large amount of attacks in the coming weeks. but they did say according to u.s. commanders that they think this will help the perception that the u.s. and afghans are making progress and can strike anywhere. there is hope mullah omar and
others will rethink their position and it may -- this killing of usama bin laden may bring the taliban around to some type of negotiated deal. martha: conor powell reporting from kabul, afghanistan. we have brand-new details about this action that took place. the briefing is going reveal off that. that's coming up moments from now. also about the compound where usama bin laden lived for many years. this home in pakistan was built for deception. and that's not all. catherine herridge got to new details what else went on behind the compound walls coming up right after this. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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let's listen in and see how this goes. >> the president has made the decision not to release any of the photographs of the deceased usama bin laden. rather than -- rather first i will give the language the president used when he was recently interviewed about an hour ago to explain his decision. this is an interview with cbs "60 minutes." the president was asked, he said they were discussing bin laden's body was taken out of the compound, the president was asked about how they knew of it was him. and he said when they landed they had very strong confirmation at that point that it was him. photographs had been taken.
facial analysis indicated that in fact it was him. we hadn't yet done dna testing, but at that point we were 95% sure. question, did you see the pictures? the president, yes. question what was your reaction when i saw them in the presents, it was him. question, why didn't you release them? the president. we were certain it was him. there was no doubt we killed usama bin laden. it's important for us to make sure very graphic photos of somebody shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. that's not who we are. we don't trot out this stuff astro if is. the fact of the matter is, this was somebody who was deserving of the justice he received. and i think americans and people
around the world are glad that he is gone. but we don't need to spike the football. i think given the graphic nature of these photos it would create national security risks. i discussed this with bob gates and hillary clinton and my intelligence teams and they all agree. question will be there are people in pakistan who say this is all a lie. obama, this is another american trip. bin laden is not dead. the president, we were monitoring worldwide reaction. there is no doubt usama bin laden is dead. there is no doubt among al qaeda members that he is dead. so we don't think that a photograph in and of itself will make any difference. there are going to be some folks who deny it. the fact of the matter is, you will not see bin laden walking on this earth again. that's the conclusion of the
excerpt. i think it states rather thoroughly why the president made the decision that he did. with that i'll take your questions. >> based on those comments the president made, a very compelling case why not to release the note ohs. what was the internal debate and was he seriously considering releasing photos? >> obviously the photos didn't exist until bin laden was killed. so there is not a great deal of time between then and the decision. they are obviously arguments to be made on either side. the fact of the matter is the president described these are graphic photographs of someone shot in the face or the head, rather. and it is not in our national security interests to allow those images as has been in the past been the case, to become icons for -- to rally opinion
against the united states. the president's number one priority is the safety and security of american citizens as the home and americans abroad. there is no need to release these photographs to establish bin laden's identity, and he saw no other compelling reason to release them given the potential for national security risks, and further because he believes as he said so clearly, this is not who we are. >> was he in the time period you are discussing, the moment he had the photos until now, was he grappling with this at all? or was this stand clear? >> i don't know weather evolution of his decision-making process. when i heard him discuss it, he held this opinion very firmly and he has held that opinion firmly. by this is a short period of time. obviously he wanted to hear the opinions of others. but he was very clear about this
view on this. and obviously his decision is categorical. >> director panetta said the government obviously talking about how best to do this, but i don't think there is any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public. how do you explain that? >> there are compelling arguments in general for the release of information. and there is a discussion to be had about the pros and cons. and the president engaged in that discussion and made a decision. every member of the national security team is aware of and expressed the down side of releasing, which is i think weighed heavily on the president in terms of the potential risk it would pose to americans serving abroad and americans traveling abroad. the idea that this is 100%
obvious, the fact of the matter is the president never gets to make a decision that's 100% obvious because those kind of decisions never get to his desk. >> his comment was -- there was no question that a photograph -- >> the president made this decision. he consulted members of his national security team. there are reasonable arguments to be made. the president felt strongly. and made the decision he made. yes? >> jay, you talked yesterday about firefight. who was it shooting back at at u.s. commandos? >> we have as you know since the moment this operation became public been as helpful as we can be to provide as much information as we can. in terms of the operational
details, we have gotten to the point where we cannot cross lines because of the necessity for preserving the methods and operational techniques and capability of the kinds of forces that were used in this case. we have gone to the limit of our ability to do that and still maintain some of the things we need to maintain and be kept secret. so that's a long way of beginning my answer to say that we have revealed a lot of information. we have been as forth coming facts as we can be. a lot of information came out quickly when we needed to clarify some of the information we had. but in terms of further details of the operation, i don't have any for you. you are welcome to obviously consult with the defense department about them, but i don't have more information and i'm not going to discuss beyond what i said already the operational details.
>> some things as you acknowledged yesterday have changed. the facts of a firefight -- >> you heard the account i read yesterday. and that is information that i provided. i'm just simply saying i'm not going further than that. >> i guess i'm curious about -- >> i'm not going further than what i said yesterday. the answer to your question is certainly contained within the account i read yesterday. but we are at a point where we need to be mindful of the necessity to protect our ability in the future to go after other bad guys. perhaps in the same way we went after this one. and some of the capacities that we have, the methods we use need to be protected and not compromised. >> are you concerned that way in which bin laden was killed and buried at sea might hurt the
president's ability to reach out to the muslim world as he has tried to do over the last two years? >> the effort that were made to give usama bin laden an appropriate burial following islamic precepts and traditions were considerable. however, i would also say that there is nothing -- the respect that was shown to him and his body was far greater than the respect usama bin laden showed to the victims on 9/11 or any of those other victims. and that pams because that's who we are. so we feel comfortable with the fact that we took extraordinary measures to show that respect to
the traditions of the islamic faith. >> my question is about the president's outreach to the muslim world. >> you heard the president speak about the facts that president bush made clear before president obama. that our efforts in the fight against terrorists, against al qaeda are not aimed at islam or not aimed at muslims. the fact is that the cooperation and assistance provided by muslims around the world is essential to our fight. it's not about them. usama bin laden was not a muslim leader. he was a mass murderer of people around the world, including muslims. so we obviously believe that we were absolutely within our rights to go after the most wanted man in the world, the most wanted terrorist in the world, the man who ordered the
attacks on so many americans and killed so many americans, and we -- it needs to be recognized this is seen as a good thing throughout the world. and yet because of who we are, we took extraordinary measures to show the kind of respect that was shown in his burial. >> what do you say to the families of the victims of 9/11 and the u.s.s. cole, and other terror attacks by al qaeda. these family members say they want the photo released so they can have some closure. what is the white house response to that. >> i won't go beyond the words of the president. i'll rephrase them to say there is no question at all that usama bin laden is dead. he will not walk this again. we have established beyond any doubt through dna evidence, facial recognition, visual
recognition. the naming of him by individuals on that compound that usama bin laden was shot and killed sunday night. he is dead. that i think americans feel a great sense of closure because of that. >> is there any other -- i understand the photographs are off the table -- is there any other evidence that might -- that you are considering releasing whether it's video of his burial at sea, whether the dna evidence, is there anything else that could be released? >> we are -- this decision applies to all visual evidence and in terms of discussions that might beland to go into more detail about how the dna evidence was an lids and collected, how the facial recognize evidence was analyzed and collected, and how the experts reached their conclusion that this was without any shred
of doubt usama bin laden. i'm sure that information might be made available, will be made available in the future. but this decision that i cite the president made has to do with the photographic evidence. >> the cia director leon panetta said in a closed door briefing about the pakistani government that they ether were involved or are incompetent. is that the position of the white house? >> i assume you mean classified briefing? i have no comment. >> you said that the president based on your observations held the position that the photos should not -- >> i just meant that we are now -- 2 1/2 days since this took place, that i know you had this -- i heard him express this view yesterday.
but there was still -- he was gathering the shots and views of on thers on his team. so long held is an impossible statement to make since we are talking about a couple days. >> could he have made up his mind and opened it up for opinions that sway him? >> the president has a national security team an wanted to hear the opinions of others, obviously. that's how he makes decisions in this white house. he wants to hear as he did with the decision to authorize this mission which i think has been reported was not a decision that every member of his team supported or thought was -- people had reservations. obviously because it was a risky mission. this is the process he under takes because he believes that's the way he wants his presidency to function. he wants the unvanished opinions
and advice of his top advisors. and in a situation like this the last thing he wants is a bunch of people telling him with they think he wants to hear. >> was it a majority opinion of those giving him advice that the photos should not be released? >> it was a majority opinion, yep. >> can you give us anything more about this team that will be going to greece with president bush? >> i know you said you don't want to get into operational details. but you opened the door on one thing. you said he was shot in the face, then you krectsed yourself and said in the head. >> i simply -- he was shot above the neck, let's say that. >> you are not saying -- >> i don't have any details to give on that. >> why has the president decided
not to speak sat ground zero tomorrow? >> the president thinks it's entirely figure it and appropriate to visit the site of ground zero, in the wake of this significant and cathartic moment for the american people. and he wants to lay a wreath. to honor the victims, to honor the first responders who so courageously rushed to the scene and in many cases gave their own lives to try to save others. to honor the spirit of unity in america that we all felt in the wake of that terrible attack. i think it power of that requires no words. and he will also meet with families of the victims and first responders. in private. >> was there concern he would be
spiking the ball? >> the president did speak sunday night. in a remarkably large awed glens this country. a remarkable number of americans saw him speak because the word traveled so fast about this monumental event that occurred. and so, no, there was no debate. >> a quick question on the new york times cbs poll. his approval rating jumped but at the same tile his approval on the economy is the lowest ever there those polls, 34%. can you comments if you think there is significance to that? >> i think that the country is still emerging from the recession since the great depression. i think gas prices have weighed heavily on americans as they try to make ends meet.
and it's entirely understandable why that sentiment is out there. because people are struggling. and people in the case of how they are dealing with these high gas prices are suffering. so that's -- we are fully aware of that and that's why this president, i think you will see, will continue his focus on growing the economy, creating jobs. working with congress to pass legislation that does that. working with congress to take measures to reduce our deficit. that invest in those areas that allow us to grow, allow us to compete. make sure we educate our kids so we can be competitive in the 21st century. , on the inside now, you always hear this. the train never stops. the rapidity of events and the demands are so great. what we have seen in these
historic times since the president came into office is that has been the case and then some. and his focus on the economy has not wavered, even as he has dealt quietly with only a select number of people in this mission from its inception to its execution. and that focus will continue. it's -- there is no -- the two things that he thinks about the most is security of the american people, and the economic security of american people. and at the same time. so that's the economy continues to be a major priority. >> we are hearing more and more lawmakers are seeing the bin laden photo or photos. are they just being shown the photos or there are copies floating around the hill? >> i'm not aware of any photos floating or being shown.
>> bin laden, sunday when the raid happened, was there any opportunities for u.s. officials to question him before he was shot? >> i'm not going to get into operational details beyond what we have gone. what i said in the past yesterday is what i would say today. so, you know, what happened sunday night is an incredibly courageous team of u.s. personnel entered a foreign country in darkness on an incredibly risky mission, executed it with -- at great rise to be their own personal safety, executed that mission with greats professionalism, and accomplished the goal that this country had sought for 9 1/2 years. in a mission that dramatically
minimized collateral damage. and civilian casualties. that was pulled off without any casualties among american personnel. and it resulted in the bringing to justice of bin laden. we have enormous regard for what was accomplished sunday give those men. i would just defer for those questions to the defense departments. >> any attempt by american officials to interview, question bin laden's wife who was at the scene? >> not that i'm aware of, but you might ask the state department that. >> are there any u.s. officials involved in the questioning of anybody else at that compounds? >> that goes to what mike just asked. i don't have an answer. so we obviously cooperate and
have an important relationship with pakistan and with the pakistani government. but i don't have any information with which to answer that question. i just don't know. so i don't have an answer. >> is there going to be an updated narrative on what you read yesterday? >> i think i made pretty clear that we have provided a great deal of information, and have made an effort to get that information to you very quickly. the nature of this operation and the rapidity with which we tried to respond for the understandable desire for information about it has meant that we needed to clarify some facts. but i don't have any more operational details for you. >> will we have any --
>> again, i don't draw any lines like that. it would be foolish to. we don't have any information for you today. i think we provided a great deal of information about that operation. our focus i think -- most people's focus is on the remarkable nature of what was accomplished. the facts that it was done with no american casualties and very limited collateral damage. and done in a way that we could be entirely sure that usama bin laden had been brought to justice. >> one more on the issue of 9/11 families. given that many members of congress are being shown this photo, if they ask to see the photo under some circumstance that would not be public, but for them if they asked for that
opportunity, would the administration be willing to give them that opportunity? >> i don't have an answer to that right now. >> you spoke with the chairman of the 9/11 commission. [inaudible] first responders. where dots administration stand on that. so our first responders can communicate with each other. >> i just don't know. >> can you clarify? you said no visual evidence at all will be released, including video? >> that's right. visual record of usama bin laden's death or his deceased body. >> on a different topic, does the administration have expectations for the meeting tomorrow [inaudible] >> i think this is the beginning of an important process.
the president by appointing the simpson bowles commission, by putting together the plan he did at george washington university for his vision for reducing our deficit in a balanced way while investing in the essential priorities of government to allow us to grow and allow to us create jobs, he is now taking this step to move this process forward. because he believes that -- we are at an important point here where republicans and democrats alike share recognize the problem, that's important. and they aggrieve it exists. they share the same -- they agree it exists. they share the same end goal, and share the general idea what the time line should be. 10-12 years. this creates potential for a bipartisan compromise on some of this at least.
and that's what this process we hope will launch thursday, and so we -- i don't want to -- it will be no announcement after that meeting that a deal has been reached. this is a process. but we expects progress to be made. >> i'm just wondering, trying to get some clarity. why was the narrative not mentioned? >> this is the kind of thing i'm trying not to first of all go beyond what i said yesterday, and secondly, to -- what i would just say is for questions like that, i refer you to the defense department. and they may be able to get an answer for you. >> john brennan monday gave one name. >> this is an important point. the transcript -- he gave a name, a correct name. when the transcript was listened
to on a put on paper, an error was made made in transcribing that name. john brennan's -- i think we corrected that and what he said was accurate. >> was any other person dead or alive taken from the compound and transported from the scene by u.s. personnel? >> no. >> on tomorrow, is there -- does the president have concern about possibly avoiding 9/11 families? >> he's meeting in private with 9/11 families. no press. >> what are the public events then tomorrow. >> he's going to the world trade center site and laying a wreath in public. >> why did he decide to make these meetings private? >> i think you said so in your question. you succeed why that would be the case. he wants to meet with them and share with them this important
and significant moment. a bitter sweet moment for many families of the victims. and he thinks it's appropriate to do that in private. >> why did he want to invite president bush and what is lost by president bush not being there. >> he did invite president bush because as he made clear sunday night, this is a moment of unity for americans. and a moment to recall the unity that existed in this country in the wake of the attacks on 9/11. and he wanted to desh invited president bush because he hoped if president bush were able to come he would join the president in visiting the world trade center site. we completely understand he's not able to come. but that the invitation was made
in that spirit. >> to follow on ben's question earlier. when cia director panetta spoke to nbc and to lawmakers on the hill, he was clear it was a question of when not if if the photos would be released. was he misinformed or overruled? >> a final decision had not been made. >> so he spoke out of line. >> the president made a decision. there were obviously arguments to be made on each side of this. but the final decision was not made until today. this morning. i don't remember precisely. i didn't look at my watch. >> were you with him when he made the decision? >> yes. >> you talk about the president's role tomorrow, are you ruling out perhaps [inaudible] >> there is no plan for him to
speak at the wreath laying ceremony. his events are in private with the first responders and families. when he didn't speak at the cabinet meeting, i don't -- he's not a robot. he may potentially speak. at some point tomorrow. but there are no plans for that. >> has the president spoke on anyone on the team [inaudible] >> i don't have any information for you. >> do you know if anybody in the wythe house has, mr. brennan? >> the team is not just those men who went into pakistan. there is a bigger network that represents the team. the operation team. i'm not sure. there is the head of special forces who obviously has spoken to members of the administration and he's have much part of the
team. so i don't have any information about more contact. >> human rights officials said yesterday that she hoped the administration would release full details to settle any questions about whether it was legally justifiable. does the administration have any plans that it needs to say anything more about how the operation was carried out, the rules of engagement to justify the action? >> let me address that question. i'm going read so i'm precise here. the team hat the authority to kill usama bin laden unless he offered to surrender. in which case the team was required to accept his surrender if the team could do so safely. the operation was conducted in a manner fully consistent with the laws of war. the operation was planned so that the team was prepared and had the means to taken by -- ty
* inttotake bin laden into city. the operation was legal. the operation that conducted the attacks of 2001 and bin laden himself continued to plot attacks against the united states. we acted in the nation's self-.defense. it was conducted in a way to minimize and avoid civilian casualties. and if i might add, that was done at great rise to be americans. furthermore, consistent with the laws of war, bin laden's surrender would have been accepted if feasible. that's my response. >> two questions. one, president obama sunday -- relief to millions of people
including india. also, my question is the zardari, what is the reaction from pakistan? >> i think -- i don't want to speak for the pakistani government and i think in terms of our analysis of the reaction in pack stain would point out state department. the president of pakistan wrote an oh-ed. you can glean some information from that. the president did speak with a number of leaders from around the world and they congratulated the united states on his accomplishment bringing to justice usama bin laden. but i don't have any other characterization to give you. >> for the last 10 years [inaudible] pentagon obama is
pakistan intelligence and military. the whole world saw how his lifestyle was inside pakistan. don't you think now pakistan has so many questions have to answer to the international community and to the united states and millions of people he has killed? >> what john brennan said and what i'll repeat, we are interested in finding out the details of the support network that obviously helped mr. bin laden hide in in abbottabad. we note that the tax pakistani government launched an investigation of its own. we think that's a good thing. we'll work to find out as much as we can about how that happened. i'll further state our relationship with pakistan while complicated is very important. and it is very important
precisely because of our need to continue the fight against al qaeda. to continue the fight against terrorists. the fight is not done. and we look forward to cooperating with pakistan in the future. as others have said, more terrorists have been killed on pakistani soil than probably any other country. and the cooperation we received from pakistan has been very useful in that regard. >> for the muslims, my question is in order to bring muslim communities [inaudible] they are saying they are being targeted. congressman [inaudible] the president speak broadly to the muslim people -- >> i don't have announcements for other speeches.
i'll let the president's statement sunday stand for itself. >> can you clarify. does the president want you to stop giving out info or clarification. you are directing us in that -- >> my point is simply, we provided a great number of details. i don't have new details for to you provide. there are issues here. a lot of you people understand. a lot of reporters have written about or done pieces on special operations and the kinds of operations that we are talking about here. there are equities we need to protect. it would be extremely foolhardy for us to divulge information in the counting of what happened sunday that would in some way in any way limit our capacity to perform a similar operation in the future. we are not done going after terrorists. would that we were. but we are not.
>> are you suggesting the [inaudible] details they are giving out the last two days? >> i think we have given out a great number of details. i don't have more details for you. you can ask the defense department for more details. the point here is we divulged an extremely large amount of information about this operation. we don't want to impede our capacity to launch a similar operation in the future. i think that's entirely reasonable. the level of detail and the amount of information has been rather extraordinary. and there has to be -- >> can you keep doing that? >> you can ask, but the point is i don't have any clarifications for you. what i said yesterday stands and i clarified a couple of points.